Not so long ago Dad talked to me about the arrangements for after he'd passed on, and he was very specific about one thing: there was to be no cheap whiskey at his wake. Of course he had other instructions, but he knew what his priorities were. So this has been a busy week of organising: Dad's funeral, his wake, the flowers, the church service, the music, his paperwork, aswell as contacting family and friends and dealing with Dad's final requests.
Since Dad's death last week I've done a lot of soul searching, and one thing has struck me more than anything else. I'm lonely. Extremely lonely and isolated.
Somehow, over the years, I've managed to not only distance myself from the idea of a relationship, but I've neglected my friends. I haven't nurtured my friendships enough, and so now at one of the loneliest times of my life I find myself questioning my own priorities in life. Why have I allowed this to happen? And how can I repair it?
Next Tuesday on the day of the funeral there'll be no-one there to support me. I'll have family yes, but they have their own nearest and dearest. But there'll be no friends there for me, and no partner. I know I have myself to blame but it doesn't stop me from feeling sorry for myself.
Somewhere in the distance I can hear a black dog howling. And it isn't Tess.